Check out the #NestorGuide on how to have a sustainable Christmas in London!

Christmas in London never fails to be fantastic, with sparkling Christmas lights, the bustle of people doing their shopping on Oxford Street, cosy Christmas markets where you can sip on hot chocolate and lots of other exciting events.

However, although fun to celebrate, Christmas is one of the times of year that can have a huge negative environmental impact, due to the sheer amount of goods that are purchased, often followed by huge wastage, either of unwanted gifts, leftover food, wrapping paper, decorations and more.

As we become ever more conscious of our impact on the environment, this Christmas there are many ways to make small changes that will have a positive effect on the planet. From recycling your leftovers to shopping at a small business, enter the new year with a clear conscience and cherished holiday memories. Read on for our guide on how to enjoy a sustainable Christmas in London!

Sustainable and Local Christmas Markets in London

Pre-pandemic, London was awash with sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas markets, however as many of these were small and locally run, they are yet to recover from the past two years. However, there are still many alternatives if you’re planning to do a little ‘green’ Christmas shopping in the city. One market taking the helm this year is the Sustainable Winter Market located in Poplar. The market will take place on the 1st and 8th of December and feature twenty independent stalls selling handmade gifts.

There will also be delicious food and drink stalls, live music performances and many family-friendly activities. Sustainability doesn’t have to mean shopping only at eco-friendly markets, however. 

Instead of buying gifts from large retail chains, purchasing from small or independent businesses will mean you’re helping out the community and buying products which are often handmade, unique and of superior quality, meaning they will last longer rather than being frequently replaced.

At the London Fashion Home & Beauty Christmas Market taking place in Chelsea on the 3rd and 4th of December, you will find independent brands and artisans from all over the world. Everything will be from homeware, souvenirs and jewellery, to personalised gifts, Christmas decorations and vintage clothing. Held in the pretty Chelsea Town Hall, it is centrally located and you’ll be able to pick up all of your gifts guilt free!

Recycle Your Wrapping

Did you know that over Christmas, almost 40,000 tonnes of gift wrapping and Christmas cards are used by Londoners? Much of this is either not, or cannot, be recycled. But do we really need to use wrapping paper made with glitter or metallic materials? To avoid wastage, there are lots of ways to make your presents look beautiful under a tree that is eco-friendly.

For even more tips, be sure to check out last year’s #NestorChristmasGuide on how to be more sustainable!

Christmas wreath made of twigs

Using newspaper, or paper you already have in the house can be a good start, or if you have children, encouraging them to paint or draw on paper that can then be used as wrapping is always a fun idea. Some shops also sell wrapping paper and cards recycled from other materials.

Fabric is another great option, or if you do end up wrapping gifts, try using recycled ribbons such as those from VV Rouleaux in Marylebone. Instead of buying mass-produced Christmas cards, swap for individually handmade cards from local artists, avoid buying cards with non-recyclable touches or even make your own cards if you’re talented with a pencil!

Enjoy an eco-friendly dinner in London

If you’re planning a big Christmas dinner in London, there are a couple of planet-friendly things to consider. If you’re good with cooking, instead of a huge spread, try hosting a more intimate dinner using ingredients bought at a local or vegan market, such as those in Notting Hill or South Kensington. You could try alternatives to cooking a huge turkey, such as having a continental platter of cheeses and meats, fresh fruits or cold dishes such as quiche with a fresh salad! 

Alternatively, if you’re planning to eat out, try heading to one of the city’s many eco-friendly or vegan restaurants that will be using locally grown and organic ingredients, for a meal that is far better for the environment and your body! Check out Farmacy or Pollen Free Social for some excellent vegan cooking.

Another great option if cooking just isn’t for you is heading to a supper club. The Sustainable Supper Club in Vauxhall offers intimate evenings where you can meet other guests, and enjoy locally sourced and organic food and drink from brands such as Meatless Farm and Sipsmith, plus there will be speakers talking about all things sustainability!

Rent a Christmas Tree in London

What would Christmas be without a tree? In today’s world, fake Christmas trees are often the first port of call, as they can be reused each year and look pretty good! However, these trees are often mass-produced overseas, and despite promises to reuse them, people often see bigger and better ones each Christmas. In fact, over seven million plastic Christmas trees end up in landfill each year. 

Real Christmas trees are still a popular option for those not living in the countryside; it can be difficult to find them, not to mention expensive. Plus, many smaller homes simply don’t have space for a towering tree in the living room! Luckily, an amazing brand called London Christmas Tree Rentals is on hand to help. Customers can pre-order and collect a real pot-grown Christmas tree in December, between three and five feet high. 

Once January rolls around, they come and collect your tree and take it back to their farm, where the tree will continue to grow out in nature! Customers can even name their trees, so if you want the same tree again next year you can request it. Once trees are seven years old, they are retired from this exciting yearly outing and left to grow in a beautiful forest. 

Christmas with Nestor

You’ve got your sustainable tree, beautiful handmade cards and gifts from local artisans. To top off your sustainable Christmas, staying with Nestor will allow you the comfort and space to enjoy the festive season in the capital, with an added eco-friendly touch.

Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper
Eco-friendly Toilet Paper

All of our luxury apartments come with recyclable toilet paper, biodegradable coffee pods and refillable, vegan toiletries, you can enjoy a guilt-free stay over the holiday period. 

The Carlyle

Plant a Tree & Book a Stay

Last year, we partnered with ultimate friends of the forest, More Trees, to help our guests shrink their carbon footprint when they enjoy a Nestor getaway. We’re helping our guests offset their travel emissions while they stay in one of our London properties. Every time anyone books direct, we’ll plant a tree in their name to sequester carbon on their behalf! By making a small change we can make a big impact. Now you can enjoy a sustainable Christmas In London and feel that much better about yourself.

Nestor handpicks London rentals in the most sought-after neighbourhoods. Our properties can be found in prime, central, urban locations across London and beyond, each echoing the liveliness and soul of their neighbourhoods.

We’re ready to welcome you! From modern-luxury stays in Kensington at The Carlyle to unique hotel rooms in the boutique Warwick hotel in Victoria, to stylish studios at The Knaresborough.

Our friendly team would love to welcome you and are always on hand with tips and tricks to make the most of your time in London. Why not browse and book a Nestor property?